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Empathy and Openness: Practices of Intersubjectivity at the Core of the Science of Consciousness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

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The general framework of this paper relies on the observation that the practice of science as an experimental research program involves a social network of subjects working together (Latour 1988; Stengers 1994), both as co-researchers and as co-subjects of experiments. We want to take this basic observation seriously in order to explore how the objectivity of scientific results obtained thereby is highly affected and dependent on multifarious ‘intersubjective regulations.’ By intersubjective regulations we mean the different ways in which each subject/ researcher is able to account for his or her experience and share it with other subjects/researchers (comparing it, differentiating between each of them, seeing similarities and even identities, but also producing conflictive accounts) to the point of giving way to a re-styled objectivity founded on such ruled inter-individual practices (Husserl1954, 1973; Depraz 1995; Varela 1999):

More specifically, ‘third-person’ protocols are not neutral, that is, true independently of the very situatedness of each subject in its own individuated space and time (Bitbol 2002), but must take into consideration ‘first-person’ accounts and furthermore are inherently dependent on specific ‘second-person’ validations.

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Copyright © The Authors 2003

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